Are Overuse Injuries Causing Your Foot Pain?

Posted by Dr. Jeffrey L. Adler

Feb 10, 2016 9:00:00 AM

woman_wearing_ankle_supportIf you experience chronic foot pain, it may be due to an overuse injury. This refers to an injury sustained from repeated action as opposed to an injury that occurred in an instant, such as a sprained ankle.

When you exercise or apply stress to the body, it will normally adapt by thickening and strengthening the tissues, muscles, tendons and bones involved. However, if your body is not adapting correctly for some reason, then microscopic injuries can occur – such as tears or imbalances that lead to inflammation.

How do you know if you have an overuse injury?

Inflammation is your body’s response to these overuse injuries. You may also experience swelling, redness, stiffness, soreness, and impaired function. Overuse injuries are often not recognized right away. Instead, your foot pain caused by the overuse injury is mistaken for normal wear and tear.

It starts with mild discomfort when you get up in the morning or during your warm up. Then it may reappear at the end of your physical activity. Eventually you’ll start to feel the pain in your feet get worse during the activity. Once you’re experiencing pain or discomfort all the time, your overuse injury or foot problem is getting worse.

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms in your feet, you may have one of the following conditions.

Common overuse injuries causing foot pain

Achilles Tendonitis – Achilles tendonitis is caused by an overuse injury to the Achilles tendon, the band of tissue that connects the calf muscles at the back of the lower leg to the heel bone. The pain begins as a dull ache in the back of the leg or above the heel.

Bunions –  A bunion is a bone deformity that shows up as a bump on your big toe. It forms on the joint at the base of your big toe, and is caused by your big toe pushing up against your other toes, forcing the big toe joint in the opposite direction. It’s caused by foot biomechanics that are inherited from your family.

Neuropathy – This is a result of damage to your peripheral nerves caused by traumas, such as a fall or sports injuries. It often causes weakness, numbness and pain, usually in your hands and feet.

Overpronation – This occurs when you’re walking or running, and your foot rolls inward and the arch of the foot flattens. It’s a common occurrence, but when it is excessive it can lead to pain and injuries in the foot, lower leg, knee, thigh, or back, especially in runners.

Plantar Fasciitis – The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes. When it becomes strained, torn, painful and inflamed it’s called plantar fasciitis.

Determining the cause of your injury or foot pain will help lead you to the right type of treatment to consider.

Treatment Options

The most important thing to keep in mind is that if you’re experiencing any kind of chronic foot pain, you should consult a qualified podiatrist to determine the extent of your overuse injury or determine if your pain is due to another foot problem.

There are conservative ways you can manage the pain to help with the discomfort until you find the source of the problem:

  • Resting
  • Elevation
  • Icing
  • Stretching
  • Anti-inflammatories

The New York podiatrists at Adler Footcare will start helping you manage the pain right away while the best course of action is being determined. Adler Footcare offers the latest advancements in podiatry to treat your foot pain, including minimally invasive surgery, placement of the HyProCure® stent to stabilize misaligned feet, stem cell therapy, and more.

Learn more about these treatment options in the free eBook available for download below or schedule a free consultation today. We believe feet shouldn’t hurt and neither should their treatment.

Read All About the latest Solutions for Foot Pain eBook

Topics: foot pain, Injuries